Messenger No. 135 (March 2009)

« Back to The Messenger home

The Organisation

2-4 (PDF)
R. Fischer, J. Walsh
An Extension for ESO Headquarters

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135....2F
Section:
The Organisation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Fischer, R.; Walsh, J.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
The ESO Headquarters was completed in 1980, but is now too small to house all the ESO staff and currently only about 50% reside in the original building. A decision was taken to seek an extension to the Headquarters building in close proximity to the current one and a competition was launched for architectural designs. Three designs were shortlisted and the process of selection for the final design is described. Construction will begin in 2010 and is due for completion in 2012.
References:
Spyromilio, J. et al., The Messenger, 133, 2

Telescopes and Instrumentation

5-12 (PDF)
A. Baudry
The ALMA Correlator: Performance and Science Impact in the Millimetre/Submillimetre

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135....5B
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Baudry, A.
AA(University of Bordeaux, LAB, France; European ALMA Project Office, ESO)
Abstract:
The basic properties of digital correlation are introduced and the main blocks that form the correlator system designed for the ALMA main array are described. Some technical challenges and the performance of this system are presented, together with examples of observational modes, total bandwidths and spectral resolutions. The high flexibility of the ALMA correlator is emphasised and its ability to bring new data in molecular line or continuum astrophysics projects is discussed.
References:
Belloche, A. et al. 2008, A&A, 492, 769 Escoffier, R., Webber, J. & Baudry, A. 2005, ALMA System document, ALMA-60.00.00.00-001-B-SPE Favre, C. et al. 2008, The Molecular Universe International Meeting, Arcachon, 5–8 May 2008 Haupt, C. & Rykaczewski H. 2007, The Messenger, 128, 25 Laing, R. 2008, The Messenger, 132, 28
13-16 (PDF)
M. Scodeggio et al.
Improving the Multiplexing of VIMOS MOS Observations for Future Spectroscopic Surveys

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...13S
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Scodeggio, M.; Franzetti, P.; Garilli, B.; Le Fèvre, O.; Guzzo, L.
AA(INAF IASF-Milano, Italy) AB(INAF IASF-Milano, Italy) AC(INAF IASF-Milano, Italy) AD(LAM, Marseille, France) AE(INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Merate, Italy)
Abstract:
The need to reduce the negative effects of fringing on VIMOS spectra has led astronomers to use observing techniques that significantly limit the multiplexing of VIMOS observations in multi-object spectroscopy mode. In this paper we propose a new observing strategy which, coupled with a new data reduction technique, has the potential to double VIMOS multiplexing while producing spectra of a quality comparable to that obtained in the major surveys performed so far.
References:
Le Fèvre, O. et al. 2002, The Messenger, 109, 21 Le Fèvre, O. et al. 2005, The Messenger, 119, 30 Lilly, S. 2008, The Messenger, 134, 35 Scodeggio, M. et al. 2005, PASP, 117, 1284
17-19 (PDF)
C. Melo et al.
Report on the ESO Workshop Six Years of FLAMES Operations

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...17M
Section:
Telescopes and Instrumentation
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Melo, C.; Primas, F.; Pasquini, L.; Patat, F.; Smoker, J.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(ESO) AE(ESO)
Abstract:
A significant fraction of the community of users of the VLT multi-fibre spectrograph facility, FLAMES, gathered at ESO Headquarters in December 2008 to present scientific highlights, after six years of FLAMES operations. This proved to be a great opportunity to review the scientific impact that FLAMES has had on different fields of astrophysical research and for ESO to assess the current and future needs of FLAMES users. We report on the two and a half day meeting, during which all participants openly discussed their experience with FLAMES and shared their expertise.

Astronomical Science

21-25 (PDF)
S. Hubrig et al.
Studying the Magnetic Properties of Upper Main-sequence Stars with FORS1

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...21H
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hubrig, S.; Schöller, M.; Briquet, M.; De Cat, P.; Morel, T.; Kurtz, D.; Elkin, V.; Stelzer, B.; Schnerr, R.; Grady, C.; Pogodin, M.; Schütz, O.; Curé, M.; Yudin, R.; Mathys, G.
AA(ESO; Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, Germany) AB(ESO) AC(Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) AD(Koninklijke Sterrenwacht van België, Brussel, Belgium) AE(Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Belgium) AF(Centre for Astrophysics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK) AG(Centre for Astrophysics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK) AH(INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy) AI(Institute for Solar Physics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden) AJ(Eureka Scientific, Oakland, USA) AK(Pulkovo Observatory, Saint- Petersburg, Russia; Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Saint-Petersburg Branch, Russia) AL(ESO) AM(Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile) AN(Pulkovo Observatory, Saint- Petersburg, Russia; Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Saint-Petersburg Branch, Russia) AO(ESO)
Abstract:
We summarise the results of our recent magnetic field studies in upper main-sequence stars, which have exploited the spectropolarimetric capability of FORS1 at the VLT extensively.
References:
Bagnulo, S. et al. 2001, The Messenger, 104, 32 Bouret, J.-C. et al. 2008, MNRAS, 389, 75 Braithwaite, J. & Spruit, H. C. 2004, Nature, 431, 819 Brown, J. C. et al. 2004, MNRAS, 352, 1061 Donati, J.-F. et al. 2002, MNRAS, 333, 55 Hubrig, S., North, P. & Mathys, G. 2000, ApJ, 539, 352 Hubrig, S., Schöller, M. & Yudin, R. V. 2004, A&A, 428, L1 Hubrig, S. et al. 2005, A&A, 440, L37 Hubrig, S. et al. 2006a, AN, 327, 289 Hubrig, S. et al. 2006b, MNRAS, 369, L61 Hubrig, S., North, P. & Schöller, M. 2007a, AN, 328, 475 Hubrig, S. et al. 2007b, A&A, 463, 1039 Hubrig, S. et al. 2008, A&A, 490, 793 Hubrig, S. et al. 2009, AN, in press Koubský, P. et al. 2006, A&A, 459, 849 Shobbrook, R. R. 1985, MNRAS, 212, 591 Wade, G. A. et al. 2007, MNRAS, 376, 1145
26-31 (PDF)
F. Millour et al.
Wolf-Rayet Stars at the Highest Angular Resolution

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...26M
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Millour, F.; Chesneau, O.; Driebe, T.; Matter, A.; Schmutz, W.; Lopez, B.; Petrov, R.G.; Groh, J.H.; Bonneau, D.; Dessart, L.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Weigelt, G.
AA(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany) AB(Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France) AC(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany) AD(Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France) AE(Physikalisches-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, Switzerland) AF(Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France) AG(Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France) AH(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany) AI(Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice, France) AJ(Observatoire de Paris, France) AK(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany) AL(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany)
Abstract:
Interferometric observations of high-mass evolved stars provide new and very valuable information of their nature. With the unique capabilities of the VLTI, direct images of their closest environment where mass loss and dust formation occur, can be obtained. The breakthrough of the VLTI in terms of angular resolution as well as spectral resolution allows competing theoretical models, based on indirect constraints, to be tested. The high angular resolution made available by the VLTI shows that there is still a lot to discover about these massive stars.
References:
Crowther, P. A. 2007, ARA&A, 45, 177 Castor, J. I. et al. 1975, ApJ, 195, 157 Dessart, L. et al. 2000, MNRAS, 315, 407 Gräfener, G. et al. 2002, A&A, 2002, 387, 244 Hanbury Brown, R. et al. 1970, MNRAS, 148, 103 Hillier, D. J. & Miller, D. L. 1998, ApJ, 496, 407 Millour, F. et al. 2007, A&A, 464, 107 Millour, F. et al. 2008, SPIE, 7013 North, J. R. et al. 2007, MNRAS, 377, 415 Schmutz, W. et al. 1989, A&A, 210, 236 Skinner S.L. et al. 2001, ApJL, 558, 113 Tuthill, P. G. et al. 2008, ApJ, 675, 698 van der Hucht, K. A. 2001, New Astronomy Review, 45, 135 Weigelt, G. et al. 2007, A&A, 464, 87 Yudin, B. et al. 2001, A&A, 379, 229
32-36 (PDF)
A. Richichi et al.
The Beauty of Speed

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...32R
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Richichi, A.; Barbieri, C.; Fors, O.; Mason, E.; Naletto, G.
AA(ESO Garching) AB(Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Italy) AC(Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; Observatori Fabra, Barcelona, Spain) AD(ESO Garching) AE(Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Università di Padova, Italy)
Abstract:
The burst mode of ISAAC has been used systematically to record lunar occultations with high time resolution, producing several unique new results that remain unattainable by any other technique. This is not the only possible choice of instrument for high time resolution, and fast time modes of one kind or another have been implemented on several other ESO instruments. We provide a brief overview of the present capabilities and summarise some scientific results. We speculate about the future of high temporal resolution applications, presenting the trail-blazing instrument Iqueye that recently completed its first technical run at La Silla.
References:
Barbieri, C. et al. 2008, in Instrumentation for the VLT in the ELT Era, ed. A. Moorwood, (Berlin: Springer), 249 Dravins, D. et al. 2005, QuantEYE. Quantum Optics Instrumentation for Astronomy, OWL Instrument Concept Study, OWL-CSR-ESO-00000-0162 Fors O. et al. 2008, A&A, 480, 297 Redfern, M. & Ryan, O. 2006, presentation at the meeting Towards the European ELT, Marseille Richichi A. et al. 2006, The Messenger, 126, 24 Richichi A. et al. 2008a, A&A, 489, 1399 Richichi A., Fors O. & Mason E. 2008b, A&A, 489, 1441
37-39 (PDF)
H. Horst et al.
VISIR Observations of Local Seyfert Nuclei and the Mid-infrared — Hard X-ray Correlation

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...37H
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Horst, H.; Gandhi, P.; Smette, A.; Duschl, W.
AA(Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universität Kiel, Germany) AB(RIKEN Cosmic Radiation Laboratory, Wako City, Saitama, Japan) AC(ESO) AD(Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universität Kiel, Germany; Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, USA)
Abstract:
High angular resolution mid-infrared observations with the VISIR instrument at the Very Large Telescope have allowed the distribution of dust around local active galactic nuclei (AGN) to be studied. The observational results support the unified scenario for AGN and bring constraints on the properties of its key component, a dusty torus obscuring the view onto the AGN when viewed close to the equatorial plane.
References:
Antonucci, R. 1982, Nature, 299, 605 Gandhi, P. et al. 2009, A&A accepted Horst, et al. 2006, A&A, 457, L17 Horst, H. et al. 2008, A&A, 479, 389 Horst, H. et al. 2009, A&A, accepted Krabbe, A. et al. 2001, ApJ, 557, 626 Krolik, J.H. & Begelman, C. 1988, ApJ, 329, 702 Lagage, P.O. et al. 2004, The Messenger, 177, 12 Lawrence, A. 1991, MNRAS, 252, 586 Lutz, D. et al. 2004, A&A, 418, 465 Rowan-Robinson, M. 1977, ApJ, 213, 635
40-44 (PDF)
J. Kurk et al.
A VLT Large Programme to Study Galaxies at z ~ 2: GMASS — the Galaxy Mass Assembly Ultra-deep Spectroscopic Survey

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...40K
Section:
Astronomical Science
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Kurk, J.; Cimatti, A.; Daddi, E.; Mignoli, M.; Bolzonella, M.; Pozzetti, L.; Cassata, P.; Halliday, C.; Zamorani, G.; Berta, S.; Brusa, M.; Dickinson, M.; Franceschini, A.; Rodighiero, G.; Rosati, P.; Renzini, A.
AA(Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany) AB(Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy) AC(CEA/Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France) AD(INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Bologna, Italy) AE(INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Bologna, Italy) AF(INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Bologna, Italy) AG(University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA) AH(INAF/OAA, Florence, Italy) AI(INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Bologna, Italy) AJ(Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AK(Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany) AL(National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, USA) AM(Università di Padova, Padova, Italy) AN(Università di Padova, Padova, Italy) AO(ESO) AP(INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Padova, Italy)
Abstract:
We report on the motivation, sample selection and first results of our VLT FORS2 Large Programme (173.A-0687), which has obtained the longest targeted spectra of distant galaxies obtained so far with the VLT. These long exposures, up to 77 hours for objects included in three masks, were required to detect spectral features of extremely faint galaxies, such as absorption lines of passive galaxies at z > 1.4, a population that had previously escaped attention due to its faintness in the optical wavelength regime, but which represents a critical phase in the evolution of massive galaxies. The ultra-deep spectroscopy allowed us to estimate the stellar metallicity of star-forming galaxies at z ~ 2, to trace colour bimodality up to z = 2 and to characterise a galaxy cluster progenitor at z = 1.6. The approximately 200 spectra produced by GMASS constitute a lasting legacy, populating the “redshift desert” in GOODS-S.
References:
Cassata, P. et al. 2008, A&A, 483, L39 Castellano, M. et al. 2007, ApJ, 671, 1497 Cimatti, A. et al. 2002, A&A, 391, L1 Cimatti, A. et al. 2004, Messenger, 118, 51 Cimatti, A. et al. 2008, A&A, 482, 21 Daddi, E. et al. 2003, ApJ, 588, 50 Daddi, E. et al. 2007a, ApJ, 670, 156 Daddi, E. et al. 2007b, ApJ, 670, 173 Dunlop, J. et al. 1996, Nature, 381, 581 Grazian, A. et al. 2006, A&A, 449, 951 Halliday, C. et al. 2008, A&A, 479, 417 Labbé, I. et al. 2002, The Messenger, 110, 38 Maraston, C. 2005, MNRAS, 362, 799 Shen, S. et al. 2003, MNRAS, 343, 978 Steidel, C. C. et al. 2000, ApJ, 604, 534

Astronomical News

46-48 (PDF)
E. Hatziminaoglou, F. Chéreau
VirGO: A Visual Browser for the ESO Science Archive Facility

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...46H
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Hatziminaoglou, E.; Chéreau, F.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
VirGO is the next generation Visual Browser for the ESO Science Archive Facility (SAF) developed in the Virtual Observatory Project Office. VirGO enables astronomers to discover and select data easily from millions of observations in a visual and intuitive way. It allows real-time access and the graphical display of a large number of observations by showing instrumental footprints and image previews, as well as their selection and filtering for subsequent download from the ESO SAF web interface. It also permits the loading of external FITS files or VOTables, as well as the superposition of Digitized Sky Survey images to be used as background. All data interfaces are based on Virtual Observatory (VO) standards that allow access to images and spectra from external data centres, and interaction with the ESO SAF web interface or any other VO applications.
References:
Chéreau et al. 2007, Stellarium 0.10.0, www.stellarium.org Chéreau F. 2008, in ASP Conf. Series, Vol. 394, ADASS XVII, ed. Argyle R. W., Bunclark P. S. & Lewis J. R., 221 Kapadia et al. 2007, in Christensen, L.L. & Zoulias, M. (eds.) Communicating Astronomy with the Public, 2007 Rité, C. et al. 2008, in ASP Conf. Series, Vol.394, ADASS XVII, ed. Argyle R. W., Bunclark P. S. & Lewis J. R., 605
49-49 (PDF)
N. Delmotte
News from the ESO Science Archive Facility

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...49D
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Delmotte, N.
AA(ESO, for the ESO archive team)
Abstract:
The latest developments from the ESO archive are presented. Information is provided to the astronomical community on new data releases and services.
References:
Lilly, S. et al. 2008, The Messenger, 134, 35 Zampieri, S. et al. 2008, to appear in ASP Conf. Proc. ADASS XVIII
50-52 (PDF)
P. Garcia
New Infrastructures Require New Training: The Example of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer Schools

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...50G
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Garcia, P.
AA(Universidade do Porto, Portugal (on behalf of the European Interferometry Initiative))
Abstract:
The discovery space for astronomy is dramatically widening with the operation, construction and planning of ambitious new infrastructures. A key aspect of the scientific return from these facilities is the training of its users. We report on a series of summer schools designed to train a new generation of young astronomers in optical interferometry with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer.
References:
Bode, M. F., Cruz, M. J., Molster, F. J. (eds) 2008, The ASTRONET Infrastructure Roadmap, ISBN: 978-3-923524-63-1 Feibelman, P.J. 1993, A PhD Is Not Enough: A Guide To Survival In Science, (Basic Books: New York), ISBN: 978-0201626636 Gibson, B.K. 2002, Astr. Soc. of Australia Newsletter, 26, 4
53-54 (PDF)
G. Mathys, B. Leibundgut
Report on the ESO Workshop Large Programmes

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...53M
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Mathys, G.; Leibundgut, B.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
A report is presented of the workshop on the progress of ESO Large Programmes completed between the last workshop in May 2003 and September 2007.
References:
Wagner, S. & Leibundgut, B. 2004, The Messenger, 115, 41
54-55 (PDF)
P. Russo et al.
ESO and the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Opening Ceremony

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...54R
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Russo, P.; Christensen, L.L.; Pierce-Price, D.
AA(ESO; International Astronomical Union) AB(ESO) AC(ESO)
Abstract:
The ESO contributions to the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and the Opening Ceremony, held in Paris in January 2009, are summarised.
56-56 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the ESO Workshop MAD and Beyond: Science with Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Instruments

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135Q..56.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

56-56 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the IAU Special Session 1 IR and Sub-mm Spectroscopy: A New Tool for Studying Stellar Evolution

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135R..56.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
57-57 (PDF)
ESO
Announcement of the ESO Workshop Detectors for Astronomy 2009

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...57.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

57-58 (PDF)
M. West et al.
ESO’s Studentship Programmes: Training Tomorrow’s Astronomers Today

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...57W
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
West, M.; Rejkuba, M.; Leibundgut, B.; Emsellem, E.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO) AC(ESO) AD(ESO)
Abstract:
Students are the lifeblood of astronomy, the next generation of astronomers. While other scientific disciplines are facing declining student enrollments, the ASTRONET strategic plan for European Astronomy notes “young students have continued to enter the field at a steady level”. Indeed, with Very Large Telescope (VLT), Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and other exciting new facilities on the horizon, it is hard to imagine a better time to be an astronomy student.
59-59 (PDF)
ESO
ESO Studentship Programme

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...59.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
60-61 (PDF)
ESO
New Staff at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...60.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
62-62 (PDF)
ESO
Fellows at ESO

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...62.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
63-63 (PDF)
ESO
Personnel Movements

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135...63.
Section:
Astronomical News
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)

Annual Index

64-67 (PDF)
ESO
Annual Index 2008 (Nos. 131–134)

ADS BibCode:
2009Msngr.135S..64.
Section:
Annual Index
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)